The Best of Salone Del Mobile 2023, Part II

Much ado has been made about the death of monoculture in other areas like television or music, but to be honest, I’d never thought about it in terms of design until I was in Milan for the 61st annual Salone del Mobile last week. Design has long been a discipline of ever-spiraling-outward niches, but, reliably, the Milan Furniture Fair was where you could go to see it all in one place. But while Milan has often felt too sprawling for one person to take in, this was the year it seemed to fracture entirely. Scrolling through other people’s Instagram Stories, seeing exhibitions that hadn’t even made it onto my radar, much less my extensive Google doc, made me stop and wonder: “Are we even at the same fair?” You could compare notes with friends about which exhibitions were your favorites, but the overlaps were few and far between.

It’s hard to know how to feel about this. For some, the sheer amount of talent on view can act as a catalyst for inspiration, and you can walk away feeling as if you’ve filled your cup for the year. It can also be encouraging that there’s room for so many people to celebrate their work. But Milan also functions as a reflection of the inherent excesses of our industry — which become harder to ignore the larger that industry becomes, no matter how many talks on sustainability we put on. It’s also a reminder that, in many cases, there’s only room for a certain type of person. We rolled our eyes on Instagram as the invitations came in from some of the big brands, promoting the same circle of white men that have been lifted up throughout the history of design. But between that and the inclusion of actually racist motifs in one exhibition this year, it’s clear that there’s still so much work to be done.

Looking through our favorites from the week (we sound grumpy, but we did have some!), it’s hard to discern actual trends — though we’ll sneak a few mini ones onto IG — but we can see that our eye often alighted on the sorts of projects that allude to a promising future. There were so many talented women whose work was on view this week, including Audrey Large at Nilufar, Katrin Greiling for Tecta, and Grace Prince at Oxilia Gallery; could some of them be promoted to even larger projects?! And the fair itself is aware of its sustainability problem, this year hiring Formafantasma to develop modular, recyclable structures for Euroluce that can be dismantled and reused after the fair has ended.

Today we’re focusing on brands, both those who showed at the fair, and those who popped up around town. We loved the collection at Cassina — though it was hard to see through the throngs — and the brand’s iMaestri exhibition, in a former bank vault, curated by Patricia Urquiola against a backdrop of blood red. Truly never thought we’d see a stack of Le Corbusier chaise longue frames with The Shining vibes. Other standouts included a quiet presentation of lovely geometric rugs by Ruckstuhl at Assab One, Studiopepe’s shock of lime green coffee table for Sancal, the addition of two friends of SU to the Tacchini stable (Umberto Bellardi Ricci and Brian Thoreen), Phillippe Malouin’s cheeky magnetic lamp for Flos, Knoll’s desert jungle pavilion, Acerbis’s 1970s throwback in the form of a John Chamberlain-esque sofa system by Claudio Salocchi, and the debut of one of our favorite lamps — Mangiarotti’s Lari lamp for Karakter — in a new, tiny, USB-charged portable size.


Hayama by Patricia Urquiola

Chairs by Barber Osgerby, cabinet, mirror and vases by Patricia Urquiola

Tamburound chair by Barber Osgerby

Rug by Le Corbusier

Principi chair by Gio Ponti

La Main Ouverte rug by Le Corbusier

Hayama bar cabinet by Patricia Urquiola

Doge Laguna table by Carlo Scarpa

Cab Tab table by Mario Bellini © Luca Merli

Cassina Maestri

© Agostino Osio


Katrin Greiling restyling Walter Gropius’s F51

Hatch sofa system by Geckeler Michels


Fellow rugs by Stephan Hürlemann © Stefan Altenburger


Bold table by Studiopepe

Link sofa by Raw Color


© Gianluca Bellomo

Bilboquet by Phillippe Malouin

Ceramique by Ronan Bouroullec

Six Act by Michael Anastassiades

Gino Sarfatti


Torus by Umberto Bellardi Ricci

Trono stool and Fackel light by Umberto Bellardi Ricci

Mano lights by Umberto Bellardi Ricci. All photos above © William Jess Laird

Solstice by Studiopepe © Andrea Ferrari

Le Mura in Formafantasma’s color palette 

Sempronia by Tobia Scarpa © Giuseppe Dinnella

Parker by Lorenzo Bini © Giuseppe Dinnella

Altar by Ewe Studio © Giuseppe Dinnella

Torus by Umberto Bellardi Ricci © Giuseppe Dinnella


Galeotta by De Pas D’Urbino Lomazzi (1968) © Omar Sartor Galeotta by De Pas D’Urbino Lomazzi (1968) © Omar Sartor Quaderna mirror by Superstudio (1969-1972) © Omar Sartor Quaderna console by Superstudio (1969-1972) © Simone Barberis Bumper sofa by Calvi Brambilla © Simone Barberis Bol table by Zaven © Simone Barberis

Glas Italia

CC coffee tables by Patricia Urquiola

Drift storage units by Nendo

Maestrale mirror by Piero Lissoni

Ollie by Yabu Pushelberg

Robotic by Patricia Urquiola


So Far chair by Studiopepe

Nuvola lamp by Draga & Aurel

Elli armchair by Christophe Delcourt

Miami Soft bed by Paola Navone

Miami Soft sofa by Paola Navone

Dune table by Draga & Aurel


Mini Lari lamp by Angelo Mangiarotti

Acerbis — NandaVigo & Claudio Salocchi Milanese Utopia

Due Piu chair by Nanda Vigo

Free System by Claudio Salocchi

Napoleone by Claudio Salocchi. All photos © Alberto Strada


Dreispitz by Herzog & De Meuron

Look At Me lamp by Alida Catella & Silvio de Ponte


Oto by Studio OE

Pipaio by Julie Richoz


Outdoor Costume system by Stefan Diez

South by Konstantin Grcic

South by Konstantin Grcic

Twain by Konstantin Grcic


Liiu by Vantot

Millimeter by Daniel Rybakken


1966 Schultz Collection and Lissoni outdoor collection © Federico Cedrone

Lissoni outdoor collection © Federico Cedrone

1966 Schultz Collection


MUT Design


Ciclopi rugs by Elisa Ossino

Khilim by Altherr Desile Park 


Prima by Mario Botta

Robot by Mario Botta


Bruno Munari


Column Table Lamp 

Vale Lamp

Vector by Lukas Peet


Nook by Jehs + Laub 

Diesel Living

High Cloud sofa

Fendi Casa

Thierry Lemaire


Cristina Celestino


Split Bowl by Martha Schwindling

Faye stool by Mathias Hahn

Maru by Bao Nghi-Droste


Baton by Neri + Hu

Adagio by Note Design Studio

Ouvert by Note Design Studio

Santa & Cole

Lámina Dorada by Antoni Arola

Lámina by Antoni Arola

Duo, 1973 by Andre Ricard

Saba at Spotti

Set design by Greta Cevenini, artwork by Giuseppe La Spada, Vela Sofa by Zanellato Bortotto


Teatro Magico table © Andrea Bartoluccio

Teatro Magico table © Andrea Bartoluccio

Teatro Magico table © Andrea Bartoluccio


Baggy light by Paola Navone

Kiki lights by Contardi Studio

Stick light by Studiopepe

Gebrüder Thonet Vienna

India Mahdavi